A while back, I did a Photoshop restoration of a distant relative for another distant relative of mine (how do these people find me?). As you can see below, it was in pretty bad shape. The man was also, apparently, a Freemason. Conspiracy theorists converge!
Anyway, It took a lot of clone brush, healing brush and just plain old extrapolation of what this man looked like— for which, I had no reference. Basically, I had to guess.
Also, the original photo was only 2 inches wide to begin with. I scanned it in at 600 dpi, but there is always going to be some data extrapolation (there's that big word again).
Here is how the original photo looked—note the extensive damage.
The Original Photo
After many hours of working on it, I finally had to give up. The client was demanding the photo. If only there had been more time.
The Photo After
For the amount of time I was given, I don't think it's a terrible restoration. My relatives remarked that it's how they remembered him; so, I guess I wasn't too far off.